ARCHIVES – more older posts (4)
May 14th, 2012 by Larry

Monday, March 28, 2011

Jules – Side By Side / Alone In A Crowd Charity Record Auction for Japanese Relief

When Tim and I started doing Double Cross three years ago this week, one of the people we really wanted to catch up with was Jules, singer of legendary NYHC bands Side By Side and Alone In A Crowd. Kinda a no brainer for us – we’re big fans, and nobody has really heard from him in a very long time.

We’d heard, however, that Jules enjoyed his privacy and that hardcore wasn’t on his radar. Hesitant to be a weirdo and bother the guy, I emailed him expecting little or no response. Pretty quickly, though, I was talking on the phone with Jules and he couldn’t have been cooler. We talked quite a bit over the course of a few days, but he explained that he really didn’t know if he felt comfortable publicly talking about the hardcore scene he was involved with more than twenty years ago. Now living in Florida with a family and practicing law, hardcore simply isn’t on his plate these days, and hasn’t been for a long time. He said he would think about it.

A few weeks passed, and tragedy struck in Japan. I woke up one day to an email from Jules, saying he thought about the interview and decided he’d do it as a one shot deal. But more importantly, he wanted to do something to actually put it all in context. He didn’t just want to revisit some “glory days” for the sake of revisiting. He decided that in conjunction with an interview, he wanted to sell his old hardcore records and donate all of the money to the Japanese relief effort, and wanted us to help him do it through Double Cross.

I don’t want to speak on Jules’ behalf on too much of anything – because I think he’s a guy who has zero difficulty explaining himself and can put his thoughts into words as well as anyone. But, I can tell you we are 100% behind him on this and are very happy to be involved.

Over the next couple weeks, we’ll be auctioning off items from his collection, some of which are extremely rare. We’ll also be running his gigantic interview, which is pretty much must-read material.

Tim and I encourage everyone to stay tuned and bid on these items.

Enough about us, though. Here’s what this is all about in Jules’ own words: -Gordo DCXX

Jules with Side By Side at CBGB, NYC, Photo: Jen Buck Knies

You are all no doubt aware the nation of Japan has suffered a disaster of biblical proportions. As I write this, the current death toll is 10,000 with 17,000 still unaccounted for. The record 9.0 scale earthquake, followed by a 23 meter high tsunami which traveled 8 kilometers inland, flattened or washed away more than 25,000 buildings. 1.2 million homes are without electricity, 1.4 million without water. As many as 100,000 children have been displaced as a result of the almost total devastation of this natural disaster. The damage is estimated at $309 billion. Hurricane Katrina, previously believed to be the costliest natural disaster ever, was $81 billion.

As if this were not enough, the looming specter of a nuclear disaster of equal, if not greater proportions, makes this trifecta uniquely positioned to become the single greatest disaster in history. At the time of this writing, several workers trying to cool the most critical reactors at Fukushima were exposed to radiation levels 10,000 times higher than normal. Measurable concentrations of radioactive iodine-131 and caesium-137 in seawater samples were taken 18 miles from land. Japanese officials initially evacuated persons within 12 miles from the nuclear plant, but as of today a “voluntary” evacuation has been urged by the Japanese government for those living between 12 and 18 miles from the plant. Despite valiant efforts, it appears the situation is worsening.

It does not take a particularly compassionate person to recognize the scale of human suffering in Japan right now. It does not take a particularly imaginative person to realize that it will get worse before it gets better. The Japanese people need help, both immediate and long term, to deal with the life threatening issues of exposure, dehydration, disease, starvation, and radiation poisoning.


If you are like me, you probably feel like there is little or anything that you can do to help. What money I can donate seems like a grain of sand, when a beach is what is needed. Tim and Gordo at Double Cross asked me about doing an interview with them. I have always been very reluctant to do so in the past. When this event occurred in Japan however, I approached them with the idea of raising money for the Red Cross and Save The Children relief efforts.

So Double Cross and I agreed to auction all of my old hardcore records through the website. Every penny will go to relief efforts in Japan. I secured a matching donation which will double the value of the money raised through the auction. Please consider bidding. If not, I encourage you to give a donation in whatever amount you can to one of the many relief organizations who will need your help. If you can make the difference in one person’s life, however small, it is worth it. Please help me to let the people of Japan know they are not in this alone.

– Jules
Side By Side
Alone In A Crowd

“He who saves one life, saves the world entire.” – Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:8 (37a)


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Token Entry @ CBGB 1989

Token Entry from the Hawker Records, Free For All show at CBGB, April 9, 1989. I came across this video the other day and thought it really captured why Token Entry were one of my favorite live bands of 1989. Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the Free For All show, but I did see Token Entry a few times at City Gardens around this time period and they always delivered. Sit back and soak it in… this one goes out to Chippy Love. -Tim DCXX

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Peter Amdam on For Pete’s Sake and Youth Of Today in Oslo, Norway

Daniel, Espen and Peter with For Pete’s Sake, Photo: Ane PMA

Ian MacKaye of Embrace once mocked the word and concept “emocore”, suggesting it was a stupid pleonasm of sorts, as hardcore is emotional music to begin with. While I wholeheartedly agree with MacKaye I feel there’s room to differentiate––meaning there are experiences of hardcore that can be more emotional than others, and indeed, some of these experiences of hardcore are more than just experiences. They can, because of their sheer emotionality, probably be dubbed events in the philosophical sense of the word. They open up possible futures. One such event was undoubtedly Youth of Today’s 1989 European tour as it touched and impacted so many people’s lives. Including mine. The seminal high energy hardcore act from New York City played Oslo a cold winter’s night of February the year 1989.

Where am I getting with this? Let me paraphrase my own introduction to a song we, that is the band For Pete’s Sake, played last Friday: “22 years ago I went to see a band play in this city, at a place called Blitz. That band was YOUTH OF TODAY and that event, and that band changed my life. Then; 12 years ago, a band called Better Than A Thousand featuring the singer from Youth of Today, was playing in this city and this band here, we used to be called Sportswear, were supposed to play, and tour, together with Better Than A Thousand. But a lot of bad things happened and Sportswear never played. Not until tonight. So, I have been waiting 12 years to say the words I’m saying now and this next song goes out to a very special person and a very dear friend. 12 years ago him and me wrote the lyrics to this song walking around the streets of New York City. This person is Ray Cappo from Youth of Today and this song goes out to him because he changed my life. This song goes out to Youth of Today because they changed my life. And this song goes out to the people standing on stage here with me, For Pete’s Sake, because these guys changed my life. This song is called ‘The Power To Change’!”

Peter and the Oslo crowd, Photo: Ane PMA

Needless to say this show was an emotional experience of enormous proportions to me. One thing was meeting what I would dare call a brother band of sorts, haven’t seen Ray in at least 6 or 7 years, but it felt as if not a day had passed, not a beat skipped. And that was just how it felt watching Youth of Today play as well. The energy was relentless, sincere, uplifting, and something you could feel in your very soul. And I was so nervous as to how people would react to For Pete’s Sake. 12 years after Sportswear broke up, in a bad way, all us guys were back on the stage together, and it really felt nothing like a nostalgia trip at all. But it felt as if this was more important now than ever. That very sense of urgency and hope is something we try to put across in a new song called “This Time”, and the lyrics go “This Time – with so many regrets, This Time – don’t know what to expect… This Time. Right Here. Right Now…”… The club exploded during our set and it almost brought me to tears. I could see old friends from all over Scandinavia and beyond stage diving, singing along, and smiling. New friends. Cappo stage diving. High fives from Porcell, Vinny Panza and Ken Olden. Were they feeling it? Was the amazing opening act from Sweden, Hårda Tider, feeling it? Was the crowd feeling it? Was there a special feeling in the air? I looked around me and saw what felt like a permanently breaking wave of kids washing over the stage, singing along to lyrics that still are so dear and important to me. We have the strength to stand against and to stand apart. It was probably the strongest hardcore experience in my entire life. Wait. It was.

Ken and Ray with Youth Of Today in Oslo, Photo: Ane PMA

Then Youth of Today got on stage and the air was electric. I have always, through all these years, stated that Youth of Today is my all time favorite band, and it has probably gotten to the point that it can be a mechanical thing to say, almost like introducing yourself. “My name is Pete and I am a Youth of Today fan”. But the sheer energy, sincerity, physicality, spiritual power, and, yes, urgency, of the 2011 Youth of Today grabbed me, and I think just about everybody else in the room, by the soul. Seeing Cappo kneeling down during “Choose To Be”, reiterating the word “misery” and then emphatically stating that that’s not the way he “choose to be” brought an unforgettable, old quote to my mind. The 17th century philosopher Nicolas Malebranche once wrote that “attentiveness is the natural prayer of the soul” and I was convinced that the same could be said about hardcore, given the right time, the right assembly, and the right circumstance. When hardcore is the way it was on a night like this––it simultaneously creates and demands a very special kind of attentiveness, and is indeed a natural prayer of the soul. And this was the time. The place. Cappo introduces “A Time We’ll Remember” and he says it’s not about living in the past. Or in the future. But right here. Right now. It is the now of the future, if you ask me.

Ray and Porcell, Oslo Norway, Photo: Ane PMA

This was a hardcore event. I will feel its reverberations well into futurity.

The Youth of Today wanted me to do a song together with them and before the show we practiced New York Crew by Judge together. When I got up on stage and sung that song with Youth of Today I was 17 again and I realized that hardcore will indeed keep me young until I die.

Thank you everybody that came through, and I will see you soon. – Peter Amdam

For Pete’s Sake (ex Sportswear) – Searching / It Runs Deep from Ola Waagen on Vimeo.

Youth of Today Live in Oslo from Ola Waagen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WHERE ARE THEY NOW – Rob Anderson/Wide Awake

Rob with Wide Awake at The Anthrax, Photo: Eric Blomquest

Not much cool info for me. Things are great, living in Norwalk, CT with wife and kids. I work for Blue Ribbon Restaurants in New York,, I am the product manager for Naked Nuggets Grilled Chicken Nuggets It is a healthier chicken nugget that is made with 100% chicken. No junk on them, no junk in them. We have been growing the brand in the natural food section for the past 4 years and continue to push for more retailers to stock them. I am really lucky as I work with some really great people.

I have to travel a lot for work and it sometimes allows me to catch up with a lot of old friends. This past year I was able to catch up with Jon Field, Roger Lambert, and John Sheehan. I still play guitar and get together with friends like Scott Frosch (Wide Awake drummer) when I can. Oh, and I always check out Double Cross. Really, the pictures and entries are always interesting so thanks Tim and Gordo! – Rob

Rob Anderson 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Seven with Kevin part III

Classic Kevin Seconds with the Violent Children shirt, Photo courtesy of: Kevin Seconds

Stand out memory from playing City Gardens in Trenton, NJ over the years?

Huge, rowdy crowds. Intense heat. Playing with everyone from the Circle Jerks and Youth Of Today to Quicksand and the Flaming Lips. One of my top 3 places to play.

What was/is your least favorite part of touring?

Being away from my loved ones and I miss my pets.

Was there ever a “traditional” career you were interested in pursuing?

Not really. I pondered doing radio as a teenager but my musical career allowed me to do that later in life, anyway. I wanted to play music and in a band since the age of 12.

Who is a band you like to regularly see live?

Sick Of It All. Always amazing. Maybe even better now than they were before.

Kevin and Steve Youth with 7 Seconds at the VFW in Watertown, MA, September 1985, Photo: Joe Henderson

All-time favorite book? Movie?

Book: the Autobiography Of Malcolm X
Movie: Goodfellas

Where have you gotten fanmail from that blows your mind?

Hearing from hardcore kids in China early on freaked me out for some reason.

Current celebrity crush?

I have to go with Marisa Tomei. It’s been a 20 year crush and luckily, my wife is ok with it.

Steve Youth and Kevin Seconds at the Sun Valley Sportsman’s Hall in 1984, Photo: Joe Henderson

Monday, March 21, 2011

Youth Of Today in Russia

Youth Of Today in Russia, 3/15/2011, Photo: Kelteacream

Lots of great photos and videos surfacing from Youth Of Today’s latest trip across the Atlantic. Just like the videos we posted last week from Russia, here are some photos from the same show. For more great photos, follow these two links… -Tim DCXX

Ray in Russia, 3/15/2011, Photo: Kelteacream

Porcell goes for some air in Russia, 3/15/2011, Photo: Kelteacream

Vinny brings the thunder in a blur, 3/15/2011, Photo: Mashka Vanina

Ken with the four strings, 3/15/2011, Photo: Kelteacream

Quicksand @ City Gardens, Trenton NJ, 7/1/1990

Sunday, March 20, 2011

WHERE ARE THEY NOW – Joey Vela/Breakaway/Second Coming

Joey with an invert at Terri’s ramp 1986, Photo courtesy of: Joey Vela

After Breakaway broke up in the late 80s, I think it was ’89, I took a couple years off before starting a new band. Then I started up Second Coming and continued doing that band from around 1991 through 2003. We played one last show, the Ernie Cortez Memorial Show back in 2005.

Throughout the 90s, I also sang in 2 different Dag Nasty type bands while also doing Second Coming, but I never did any shows or anything with those bands. The last band I was in, I think we started it back in 2006. I was really stoked on it, but we all kind of got busy with family and other things and it got put on hold.

Years later now…I don’t go to shows as often as I used to, but still love the music, and still get stoked when I come across a new band or a new song that reminds me of why I got into hardcore in the first place. I miss playing shows and being in a band, more so for the love of music and the outlet it provided for so long, but I don’t really miss the scene politics and bullshit that comes along with it. Having been around the punk/hardcore scene for almost 30 years, it’s something that is just part of you, and I can’t imagine it not being part of my life in some way or another. Music and skateboarding have been the biggest influences in my life and both have helped define who I am as a person.

As far as what I’ve been up to and what’s going on in my life now… I married my best friend a little over 10 years ago. We have 2 kick ass kids that are our entire world. I still live in Northern California and I am lucky enough to make a living doing graphic design and artwork. Aside from family and art, I play ice hockey and spend most of my free time skateboarding as much as possible, which is never enough.

Joey with Second Coming, Photo: Trent Nelson

If anyone is interested in checking out Second Coming, they can download the music here:

Second Coming – Demo

Second Coming – Wake 7″

Second Coming – In Denial CD

Second Coming – 4 Song Final Demo

Joey with an invert in 2011, Photo courtesy of: Joey Vela

Thursday, March 17, 2011

BL’AST! meets Rob Roskopp

Just like the original SSD “Kids Will Have Their Say” cover photo we posted on Tuesday, this is another photo that’s worth a thousand words. BL’AST! meets Rob Roskopp, you’ve seen the classic Santa Cruz Skateboards ad and poster, but have you ever seen this alternate shot? Two perfect worlds colliding into one, it doesn’t get much cooler than this. -Tim DCXX

Youth Crew invades Russia – Youth Of Today in Moscow, 3/15/2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Joe Foster part II

Joe Foster brings us more classic OC history. Throw on your Unity EP and dig into this one… -Gordo DCXX

How did you get into Unity? What was the band like in the beginning and what were some of the early songs you remember writing? What were some memorable early shows and what was the OC scene like at that time?

The original bass player, Joe Naverette, was in my Spanish class. Unity had a different name at the time and the only lasting member was Pat Longrie who later named the band Unity. I think it was my sophomore year in high school and I was still figuring out how to play guitar. Some of the early songs were kind of silly. The only pre-Unity song I remember being kept was called “Scared Straight” and it was about Pat’s uncle Pete who died of a heart attack.

One thing a lot of people don’t know is there was a band that existed between Unity and Uniform Choice called Winds of Promise. I think I am the only one who has a boom box recording of one of the practices. It was the best band I was ever in for sure…super DC’ed out. We had big Frank Harrison on bass, Pat Longrie, Pat Dubar and me. A lot of future UC and Unity LP songs were written in this band. One for example was “Wish to Dream.” The premise for Screaming For Change and other songs can be heard on this tape. I think Man Against Man was also written with WOP. At the time, Gavin Ogelsby thought it was the most unique hardcore he had ever heard and that’s a great compliment I’ll keep forever. I’m a big fan of Gavin, his art, guitar style etc.

The scene in OC was amazing at this time. Things were still new, sounds were being defined and the whole scene was a group thing, not so much “you’re punk and we’re hardcore and you’re edge and we’re Krishna and you’re vegan and we’re political etc. etc. etc. Regardless of the lyrical content, whether I agreed or not, I was always attracted to the energy and sincerity that the voices had delivering the message. I don’t think statements like, “if you see someone hurting a cow you should kill them,” are all that positive.

We played a lot at a club in Hollywood call the Cathay de Grande…it was so fun. We got to play with Marginal Man, Stretch Marks, Die Kreuzen etc. I saw Minor Threat play there to thirty people. I met Alec, and Faith is still one of my favorite bands. We ended up playing the last show ever there with Doggy Style and the Mentors.


What can you remember about recording the Unity EP? Are you happy years later listening back to that record? What were the bigger stand out shows you remember Unity playing around that time (1986)?

I remember feeling like a second thought to the person who recorded us. I think it was at a place called Casbah Studios and the engineer was working on the Social D album and I felt he didn’t really care about us. Still, being a little kid and recording for the first time was awesome.

As for the LP, Blood Days, I had a rough mix of Pat actually screaming the vocals which I preferred to the final mix where he went back and redid them all smooth.

We did shows with 7 Seconds, a lot of punk bands, Agression, ST, etc. Big shows really didn’t start until Fenders, the Olympic Auditorium, and some big roller skating places type of shows. That kinda in my opinion was where the scene got divided and fell about. Gangs, territories, violence, etc. The PMA, posi youth sing along movement kinda died…


What was your relationship like with Uniform Choice? I always view you as the 5th member of sorts. Why weren’t you ever in UC? What did you think of Screaming For Change?

Ha. I remember going to Dubar’s one day with John the bass player and Pat Longrie to practice. When we got there, Dave Mellow, Vic and Pat Dyson were there jamming…it was kinda weird. They brought the name Uniform Choice over since it was a previous band they were in and Dubar put it on the map. Some WOP songs were used and then the rest were used on Blood Days.

The back album cover of Blood Days is pretty funny because the photo was taken at Pepperdine University where Dubar was on a baseball scholarship. Me and Johnny went surfing that morning and were about 2 hours late for the photo. Pat Longrie was so mad. You can see in the picture him standing on my foot with his cowboy boot. Always makes me laugh. I guess I feel like I was the 5th member of UC too since a lot of the stuff I wrote ended up on Screaming For Change and Wish To Dream, etc.

Mostly I’m stoked on the Screaming album cover where Gavin had removed all our hair and repainted the photograph. You can see me, (the newly painted big headed skin head) with a black sharpie in my hand. I was tagging Unity everywhere but I’m not a tagger…LOL. Just that night only.

On a side note, I met a girl 14 years ago on tour with Ignite in Austria and she got in touch with me late last year. We are now close to getting married. So crazy, my wife through Ignite. We have a funny joke too. She says she went from groupie, to stalker to girlfriend to wife. Hence, I guess our wishes came true…


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Society System Decontrol

SSD’s Al Barile did us all a service by posting this original, unedited classic on his Facebook page the other day. Al said he was simply cleaning out a desk and found it. This is one of those photos that’s worth a thousand words, or maybe even a few more, but I’ll just keep it simple. The Kids Will Have Their Say. -Tim DCXX

Monday, March 14, 2011

WHERE ARE THEY NOW – Mike Hartsfield/Freewill, Against The Wall, Outspoken, A18, New Age Records, etc.

Mike with Freewill at Gilman Street, Photo courtesy of: John White

During the early days of A18 I got involved in the production side of the pro wrestling business with a company called XPW. The similarities with hardcore and wrestling are too numerous to name, plus there’s a good amount for straight edge people involved in wrestling so I have made some incredible connections.

It’s been a wild ride and I love every minute of it. The company closed as a full time promotion in the mid 2000s. We put together a few reunion/anniversary shows between 2008-2009. Youtube is filled with clips of what these guys have done over the years, it’s amazing what they do. Check it out.

Now we are compiling a XPW book written for the guys involved that is compiled by those intimately involved in the company. It’s less about the ups and downs of the company and more about “war stories” written from first hand accounts. We are always kicking around ideas about bringing the company back full time but it’s more difficult than it seems. Nothing is set in stone but we keep kicking around ideas.

You can find out more about XPW here:

We are also doing some Outspoken shows this year and hoping to have some fun with it.

Thanks DCXX! -Mike

Supreme and Mike in LA, 2009, Photo courtesy of: Mike Hartsfield

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Seven with Kevin part II

Kevin Seconds and Steve Youth at the Sun Valley Sportsman’s Hall in 1984, Photo: Joe Henderson

Who is a hardcore band you have seen/played with over the last few years that you really dug, and why?

How about in the last 10 years? OFF!, Champion, Kill Your Idols, Praise, and a young band we played with last summer called the Cro-Mags. Ever hear of them? I think they’re going places.

Is there a year in the past that jumps out to you in 7Seconds history as being “THE Year?” If so, why that year?

1984 was pretty huge for us. Our first album was release internationally and we went on our first full-blown North American tour. Since then, there are have been many more “THE” years but ’84 was pretty epic.


Of all your non-7Seconds music projects, which one has been your favorite and why?

Solo for sure. I enjoy it immensely. It allows me to play anywhere at anytime and I don’t have a ton of gear to tote around. I also loved playing with my wife Allyson in our old band Go National a few years back.

Glenn Danzig, Henry, and Ian. How would you characterize your relationship (if any) with each in 2011?

None. Pleasant and mutually respectful. Loving and solid.

Steve Youth and Kevin with 7 Seconds at the VFW in Watertown, MA, September 1985, Photo: Joe Henderson

Can you remember the first time you put black under your eyes and why?

Not the exact time but it had to be sometime in late 1980. In the early days, I thought it would be cool if Reno punks had a certain identifiable trait and I started putting the black under my eyes to sort of represent Skeeno. It caught on for a couple of years and then died out.

Do you ever see yourself not playing music in a public capacity?

Not really. I love playing for people. It might be an ego-driven thing but honestly, I just love it so much and feel wrong when I’m not out doing it. I’ll do it for as long as I can.

If you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring one record with you to listen to, what would it be?

The Clash ‘Give ‘Em Enough Rope.’

Kevin with 7 Seconds at Abe’s Steakhouse, Philadelphia, PA, October 1984, Photo: Mark Pingitore

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

From The Archives

Mike and Todd on tour

Not that we’re dry on content here at DCXX, because we’ve actually got quite a bit in the pipeline, ready to unload, but we thought that since we’ve got so much back content, it was worth occasionally running a “From The Archives” entry once in awhile. So if this is an entry that you’ve missed, check it out and if it’s one you’ve read, it’s probably worth another look. -Tim DCXX

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Part Animal Part Machine

Drugs, tv, booze… it’s all what the man uses to fuck with you and slow you down. I say subvert, stay straight, stay aware and take no shit. Part animal, part machine, you got to be the super human to withstand what these assholes want you to do. – Henry Rollins

Zine Review – The Ghent Decontrol


Bart De Duytsche’s zine may have been created in Belgium, but its true spirit hails from the big apple and no place else.

The previous issues of The Ghent Decontrol ranged in bands and coverage, but this final issue of Bart’s is full-on NYHC worship, in a good way. It’s a jam-packed full-size zine featuring interviews with Armand/Rest In Pieces, Freddy Alva/Wardance, Kevin Crowley/The Abused, Patrick Winter/Our Gang & Citizen’s Arrest, and all sorts of stories and coverage on Agnostic Front, the Cro-Mags, Absolution, Warzone, The Psychos, and more. Front to back, top to bottom, fanatical NYHC glory in a classic unruly cut & paste style. Lots of flyer scans and pics you may or may not have seen before, and enough content to keep you on the toilet for hours.

Just when you think zines aren’t worth hunting down anymore, something like this lands in your mailbox and smacks you in the face. Get this and study up. Bart’s the man and hopefully we’ll be able to feature more of his archived pieces on DCXX soon. Email him for the info, and buy it. -Gordo DCXX


Major Conflict, Photo courtesy of: Bart

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I am an Acupuncturist & Herbalist practicing in NYC’s Chinatown/Soho area for the past 8 years, specializing in Muscular/Trauma related injuries. I also teach Qi Gong, which is kinda like Chinese Yoga for therapeutic purposes. Anyone with old or current pit/stagediving sprains, feel free to contact me. I’ve also recently started up my old old Wardance records label & moved back to my ancestral homeland of Queens. Hopefully this will be the year Chaka agrees to an official reissue of the New Breed comp. Absolution in 2011!


Freddy Alva 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Brooke Smith part II

Brooke Smith as Catherine Martin in The Silence of the Lambs

Coming off of our piece last week, here’s more from NYHC fan/photographer-turned-actress Brooke Smith. Enjoy! -Gordo DCXX

Did you have a favorite band or bands to photograph? Who were the best to shoot and why?

My favorite now is Nick Cave and both of his bands; Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Grinderman. I saw Grinderman on tour this year and thought they were the best band around – and Nick as a frontman gives HR back in the day a run for his money in terms of energy and intensity. In the eighties I liked shooting the Bad Brains, Agnostic Front, Murphy’s Law, The Cro-Mags, Underdog, Straight Ahead…but it’s not the same scene now, so I don’t shoot anymore. I used to feel like I was such a part of it all – from getting in to shows for free to having Big Charlie and Wrecking Machine look out for me while I was shooting…

Cro-Mags drop the hammer, Photo: Brooke Smith

What clubs were the best to shoot in? Did you get hassled much at any place, or ever run into issues while shooting?

I never even thought about bringing a camera to a show back then. It was pre-9/11 and I was never hassled at all. Nowadays it’s a whole different thing though, isn’t it? I have started to direct music videos recently though…

Can you recall what records/fanzines your photos ended up in at the time? Did your photos circulate much or were they just something you kept to yourself and close friends?

My photos were not circulated at all – they were just for friends and family. They were made into a few flyers for shows back in the day.

The snake man, Jimmy Gestapo, Photo: Brooke Smith

At the time, did the NYHC scene feel like it was growing? Did it feel like that scene was having an influence on surrounding scenes and outsiders? Would you have guessed at the time that 25 years later people would still be very interested in what was going on then?

I guess it did feel like it was growing, which made me anxious at the time. Although I wanted bands that I liked to have a certain amount of success, I didn’t want to lose them to the mainstream. Remember that feeling of loving a band and being pissed when everyone else discovered them? It was like they were taken away from you. I was annoyed when bands like Anthrax started showing up at CB’s…one of the guys in that band went to my high school and I remembered him as being like other heavy metal kids in my school and making fun of me as being a freak. Then they showed up at CB’s and even put a NYHC logo on one of their records. I also remember hearing Nirvana when they first made it big and thinking they sounded soft.

It still makes me smile when I see kids dressed now the exact same way that we were dressing 25 years ago.

Tommy Carroll, Straight Ahead at CBGB, Photo: Brooke Smith

When did you stop following what was going on in the NYHC scene? At some point did it stagnate to you? What did you take away from the things you saw and the people you spent time with?

I think I just got more and more interested in acting and pursuing an acting career. I have never been a very mainstream kind of person – I’ve always felt pretty independent in terms of what I like – whether it’s music or movies or whatever. Maybe the time I spent on the hardcore scene just bolstered my belief that I should be true to myself and always try to be authentic.

Jimmy Gestapo up front for some CBGB matinee fun, Photo: Brooke Smith

How did your acting career start to take off? Did you remain in the city or head to Hollywood? What were your goals and aspirations as a young actress? Did you stay connected to the NYHC scene or the hardcore scene in general throughout the nineties?

I was in acting school in 1986-87. There was definitely an overlap between my hardcore years and when my acting career started. I did The Silence Of The Lambs first, in 1990. I remember the director, Jonathan Demme, asking me what music I listened to when I was driving and I really pushed him to use a Bad Brains song in that scene where my character is singing to a song in her car, but I was supposed to represent the average “American Girl,” so we ended up with Tom Petty.

I stayed in NY until around 2007 – when I started commuting from NY to LA for work. When I got a steady job on a tv show in LA we ended up moving out here full time. We finally let go of our NY apartment in December of 2010. I’m a born and raised New Yorker, but there’s something liberating about finally letting go of everything that being a New Yorker entails. It was such a huge part of my identity for so long.

John Joseph and Harley pose with the awards, Photo: Brooke Smith

In 2008, I took part in a panel at the Democratic National Convention. It was for the Open The Debates rally in opposition to the Commission on Presidential Debates exclusion of third party candidates from the nationally televised debates. I gave a speech at the rally and ended up being seated next to Jello Biafra. I also met Tom Morello in Ralph Nader’s dressing room, and I remember thinking how ironic it was to be associated with them as a tv actress instead of as a hardcore kid.

A NYHC legend, Frenchie The Skin, Photo: Brooke Smith

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